Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Seesaw of Indecision

Maybe some of you noticed that ever since I wrote about our life-changing plan way back in the fall, I haven't really mentioned it here again. I'm talking about the BIG decision about whether or not to uproot our family from BC and move back to Manitoba.

Ringing a bell yet?

Well (if I'm being honest) I haven't mentioned it again because, almost from the day I wrote that post, we have wrestled with huge doubts and indecision.

When we went to Manitoba last summer, things weren't going that great for Erik's business here (he's self-employed doing construction & renovations). Finances were tight and Erik and I were feeling the pressure of making ends meet. That made the idea of moving to Manitoba so appealing - the lower cost of living, the small town community, less pressure to "keep up"...

Then we came back to Abbotsford - with the full intention of moving to Manitoba as planned. We started telling family and friends, and we were living our lives with a "this-is-only-temporary" mentality. But, even though there were times we were in agreement about our decision, we spent most of those fall months riding the seesaw. We debated back and forth constantly. Sometimes one of us would feel totally at peace and the other one wouldn't, and sometimes we both felt confused. Overall, none of it felt... settled.

Then, maybe you recall Erik's knee injury in October. This felt like a frustrating set-back and we totally didn't know what God was up to. But, his injured knee forced him to hire some help at work. And so began a gradual shift in his business. Having guys working for him has not only made sense in terms of efficiency and money-making potential, but my very social husband realized how lonely and unfulfilling it had been to work by himself for so long. Add to all of this the fact that Erik has been getting more work than he even knows what to do with and his business has never been in a better position than it is right now.

We reached the pinnacle of our confusion right around Christmas time, and so one day Erik and I left the kids with his parents and spent the day together praying, talking and trying to hear what God might be telling us. I realized that day that I was totally willing to commit to (and be happy in) either location. I could honestly picture myself in either place. I knew at that moment that we needed to base the decision on Erik's work - not just where he could be the most financially successful, but also where he could be the most fulfilled. We didn't come home that day with a decision made, but that marked another gradual shift... an openness to the idea of staying.

And, slowly, as the idea settled into our brains and hearts, it really did just that.
It settled.

Ever since that day we have grown more and more peaceful about the idea of staying. Our conversations are no longer full of what-ifs. We're making plans for next year, for school and for Erik's business and for our next house. And there has been reigning peace in both of our hearts.

There is sadness in thinking of the many things about small-town Manitoba life that we will never have if we stay in BC - with the idea of living close to my parents and siblings definitely not being the least of them. But, our hope is that the future of Erik's business will provide us with the flexibility to spend more time there. In fact, we have plans to do a repeat performance of last year's trip to Manitoba. Erik has some work to finish on the cabin so we will get to enjoy another prairie summer with my family.

In the meantime, we're still planning to sell our house (ideally before the summer!), so if you think of us, you can pray that God would bring someone along to buy our place. It's not a good market for selling right now, but we know that God often likes to work with "impossibilities" and tight deadlines, so I'm just trusting that he is a part of all of this too.

And I'm just thankful we're not riding the seesaw anymore.


kelly ens said...

i am glad you're both experiencing peace with this decision. (of course, we're glad you'll be around longer!).
will be praying that your place sells!

Kerri Kincaid said...

Amazing post, Jamie. You have a way with writting! Must be from the 25 page letters we'd write each other in high school! :) I really admire your openess to hearing and obeying God. I love how He always guides us as a good shepherd would. Your post gave me goosebumps! I just love hearing how God is working in obvious ways in people's lives!

Trev and Rebekah said...

Great post! I once heard a quote that the conditions for a great miracle is impossibility. May you see God's hand work in ways that are beyond what you can imagine in the coming weeks and months.

Bonnie said...

Great to hear where you guys are at. I have been wondering what your plans were. I'm most happy to hear that you're feeling so at peace about your decision. Its a really tough thing to feel like you're on the "seesaw." Hoping God's hand continues to guide & comfort you guys as you make decisions for your family. And for the sale of your house!! :)

Megan said...

Thanks for sharing. I am glad that both you and Erik were able to come together and feel the same "settled" feelings and be at peace. It is so important for both of you to be on the same page. May you continue to feel peace as you follow what the Lord has for you and your family.

the Dees fam said...

Thanks for sharing, Jamie! So glad God has answered your prayers for peace!

Nichole said...

As much as we would love to have you all closer, I'm glad to hear that you are at peace with the decisions that have been made. Continuing to pray that God will open and close doors and reveal his will for your family.

rachel joy said...

The disappointment of a bittersweet change of direction is very real. We've felt it. But when you have peace in your heart that it's the right thing at the right time, it's more sweet than bitter. And yes, I'm so glad this means you'll be settling here!

Jen Glen said...

Did Craig ever send Erik the book Just Do Something? If not, we should, I know we spoke of it to you in the summer and it's truth applies to you in Manitoba and in Abby - God can use you wherever you are! Definitely looking forward to another visit in the summer and am now regretting we didn't make more of an effort to see you over Christmas! Love you guys.